AAAI Publications, Eleventh Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference

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StarCraft Unit Motion: Analysis and Search Enhancements
Douglas Philip Schneider, Michael Buro

Last modified: 2015-09-23


Real-time strategy (RTS) games pose challenges to AI research on many levels, ranging from selecting targets in unit combat situations, over efficient multi-unit pathfinding, to high-level economic decisions. Due to the complexity of RTS games, writing competitive AI systems for these games requires high speed adaptive algorithms and simplified models of the game world. In this paper we focus on motion prediction and motion planning in StarCraft — a popular RTS game for which a C++ API exists that allows us to write AI systems to play the game. We explore our existing unit motion model of StarCraft and find and fix some inconsistencies to improve the model by accounting for systematic command execution delays and unit acceleration. We then investigate ways to improve existing combat motion planning systems that are based on discrete unit motion sets, and show that search-based algorithms and scripts can benefit from using a new direction set that considers moves towards the closest enemy unit, away from it, and perpendicular to both directions.

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